Events in Modern Languages & Cultures
Dressing left: Fashion, Poetry & Revolution in the Russian Avant-Garde
The OWRI-funded ‘Body Text Nation’ research group invites you to this talk:
After exploding onto Russia’s literary scene in 1913, the Futurists became famous for experimental modernist poetry, provocative stunts and, latterly, a willingness to con-flate their own artistic rebellion with the political revolutions of 1917. One thread, as yet unpulled, that links these three aspects of Futurist identity was their rela-tionship to costume, clothes and fashion. This talk will investigate the ways in which key Futurists, like Vladimir Mayakovsky, Velimir Khlebnikov and Aleksei Kruchenykh, used clothes — both in their work and in their lives, both as metaphor and as material — to express their complex identities as poets and their utopian vision for language, culture and hu-manity itself. The talk will show what was revolutionary about Futurist fashion not only by locating it in the context of Russian debates about self-identity and tempo-rality, but also by showing its overlaps with and divergences from the clothes discourse of material-minded modernists elsewhere in Europe at its intersection with questions of gender, race and sexuality. Ultimately, the Futurists dressed not for the job they had — bohemian wordsmiths — but the job they wanted — agents of total eschatological transformation.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this event.